SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Lyft customer who said he was attacked by another passenger with a stiletto while using the ride-hailing service is now taking legal action.
The victim, Jose Gonzalez, and his attorney have called this incident a hate crime.
Gonzalez said he suffered bloody wounds after leaving a gay nightclub in Miami Beach, Jan. 26.
“I was, I was in shock,” Gonzalez said.
Bruises can still be shown on the 57-year-old’s face from that night. He is now suing his attacker and Lyft, the company he said is responsible for allowing the attack.
“I could never expected something to happen like that,” he said.
Gonzalez told 7News that after he left Twist nightclub along Washington Avenue near 12th Street, he hailed a shared ride on Lyft and got in the front seat. That’s when a female passenger in the back seat became enraged and began to shout gay slurs.
According to the victim, when he responded, that’s when the passenger began to beat him in the head with a high heel shoe. “When I saw the blood, I started screaming, ‘Look, look I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding.'”
The victim is now taking legal action against both the attacker and Lyft.
“The fact of the matter is, the person got out of the vehicle, the driver did not look or think of letting the police know the direction they were heading, did not call police,” said attorney Reynaldo Martinez. “In fact, just continued to take Jose home. It wasn’t until he got home that his roommate called the police.”
Lyft has since released a statement that reads in part, “There is no place in the Lyft community for discrimination or violence of any kind. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we immediately deactivated the individual accused of this behavior.”
“It’s about Jose, it’s about protecting the LGBTQ community, but it’s about protecting everybody who gets inside one of those vehicles,” Martinez said.
Gonzalez said he is not angry, but just wants the hate to go away. “It’s not that much love that she has, and I really feel sorry for her,” he said.
Police said they have identified the woman responsible and will take action soon.
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